Skateboarding isn’t a crime. It’s a creative outlet.

Creativity, like passion, is one of those things that you can’t teach. You can teach formulas for copywriting. You can teach proper brushstrokes in art class. You can teach someone how to kickflip. But the true essence—the creativity—behind these teachable skills isn’t taught.

It’s either there or it isn’t. And skateboarding opened my eyes to creativity, passion, determination and a myriad of other skills growing up.

I’m from a small town with a population of 7,000. Homogeneity is the right word. Bucolic, safe and uninspired are all suitable words as well. And as a teenager, I needed a creative outlet. That came in the form of skateboarding.

That wood board and four wheels opened up a new world. It taught me a new way of looking at the landscape: a grass gap at the local McDonald’s, the stair-set at the local newspaper office, a curb behind the grocery store were now a blank canvas. The town became a giant skatepark. And the possibilities for tricks were inexhaustive. The creative opportunities were boundless.

That feeling of accomplishing something you made up in your head is inexplicable. It’s euphoric.

My friends and I had an outlet that was beneficial not only for our general health, but for our creative health as well. Skateboarding is a mode for self-expression. If you’ve ever met a skateboarder without discipline, you haven’t met a real skateboarder. The number of times a skateboarder will fling themselves down a handrail to land that one trick is always worth it. That feeling of accomplishing something you made up in your head is inexplicable. It’s euphoric. It’s a natural high.

Today, I’m thankful every day to skateboarding. Today, I need creativity in everything I do for my big boy job. The way I write is inspired by skateboarding. The way I shoot a photograph is inspired by skateboarding. My lifestyle is inspired by skateboarding. Without skateboarding, I don’t think I’d be as successful.

I’d still be in the small town of 7,000 eyeing up the grass gap at McDonald’s.

—RYAN BOLTON

Written by Ryan Bolton

Ryan is a Toronto-based writer and photographer that likes to break the rules. His work has taken him around the world to do what he truly loves—storytelling. And drinking cold beer.

5 comments

  1. That’s awesome you are able to find many layers of creativity in skateboarding. I alt not be surprised I use to enjoy skateboarding when I was younger. Its withoutadoubt a freeing experience as you can attest too. Now I will reminisce on my skateboarding days as an added experiential source of creatativiy.

  2. My sons used to skate board. They were very good at it. Even now they have a go at it. I don’t think you ever forget how to do.
    Leslie

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